February 28, 2010
February 27, 2010
Latvian hacker tweets hard on banking whistle
Fat cat pay leaked all over the Baltics
By John Leyden
A hacker has become a popular hero in the Baltics, and scourge to the authorities, by leaking information on the finances of banks and state-run firms to Latvian TV.
The whistle-blowing cracker, who calls himself Neo in an apparent Matrix tribute, is feeding embarrassing information such as the pay of managers who work for a Latvian bank that received a credit crunch bail-out to the media via Twitter.The information reveals that bankers failed to take promised salary cuts after their banks were forced to take a state hand-out to stay afloat. Other juicy titbits involve undisclosed bonuses to senior staff at supposedly near-destitute state-owned firms.
Senior government officials are reportedly earning 2,000 lats ($4,000) a month or more while the salary of teachers has been slashed by one-third to $600 a month as part of an unpopular austerity package, AP reports.
Continued . . .
February 26, 2010
To borrow the deathless phraseology of Professor AbuKhalil: for those who care and do not care, my interview with Scott Horton at Antiwar Radio can be heard here.
As usual, Scott led the conversation in several interesting directions, to which I made the usual rambling, semi-coherent contributions. But one thing I did try to put forth was the idea of a "united front" across the political spectrum, dedicated to a single, overarching goal: dismantling the empire. Much evil would cease, and many good things would flow from such a development.
I worked up some notes on the matter before the talk, and added some more thoughts afterward; these are appended below. Much of this is an expansion and refinement of some ideas mentioned in a recent post, so I hope you'll forgive any repetition. But that original piece dealt with other topics as well, and I thought this idea merited a spotlight of its own. So here it is.
Dissidents and critics of the powers that be are often accused of being negative – tearing things down, undermining, never offering a positive alternative vision. Now, I happen to disagree with this. I believe that people who work in waste management – clearing away the garbage, the poisons, the crap – are just as important to the life and health of a community as, say, an architect who makes the community beautiful, or a teacher who educates the young, or doctors who heal the sick and so on.
But – it so happens that I do have a positive program to offer, a viable, workable, practical approach to many of our problems. This is what my program offers:
Stronger national security
Better schools, roads, and health care
What's more, this program requires no social upheaval, no political turmoil, no violence – no revolution from either Left or Right. It can be accomplished entirely within the existing political and economic system. It needs no new government powers, no new bureaucracies, no new taxes.
All it requires is simply this: Bring America Home. End our worldwide military empire.
Continued . . .
That military general on your television is not your protector. If he cared for national security, he would take issue with the mass poverty in the United States, not the “looming” threats to the Homeland. But personal aggrandizement takes precedent over country for these betrayers and others pundits who are given the authority to speak on national television every single day.
Also, MSNBC's health experts are not providing solutions to the health care crisis, and CNN's financial analysts don't know what this guy knows. Thankfully, whatever they say falls on deaf ears, because the majority of people are awake and believe the federal government is a direct threat to their rights.Below, Sebastian Jones of The Nation reports on the unmentioned connection between the media racket and pundits employed by corporate firms who appear daily on television and help maintain a false consensus on life and death issues.
The Media-Lobbying ComplexBy SEBASTIAN JONES
President Obama spent most of December 4 touring Allentown, Pennsylvania, meeting with local workers and discussing the economic crisis. A few hours later, the state's former governor, Tom Ridge, was on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews, offering up his own recovery plan. There were "modest things" the White House might try, like cutting taxes or opening up credit for small businesses, but the real answer was for the president to "take his green agenda and blow it out of the box." The first step, Ridge explained, was to "create nuclear power plants." Combined with some waste coal and natural gas extraction, you would have an "innovation setter" that would "create jobs, create exports."
As Ridge counseled the administration to "put that package together," he sure seemed like an objective commentator. But what viewers weren't told was that since 2005, Ridge has pocketed $530,659 in executive compensation for serving on the board of Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power company. As of March 2009, he also held an estimated $248,299 in Exelon stock, according to SEC filings.
Moments earlier, retired general and "NBC Military Analyst" Barry McCaffrey told viewers that the war in Afghanistan would require an additional "three- to ten-year effort" and "a lot of money." Unmentioned was the fact that DynCorp paid McCaffrey $182,309 in 2009 alone. The government had just granted DynCorp a five-year deal worth an estimated $5.9 billion to aid American forces in Afghanistan. The first year is locked in at $644 million, but the additional four options are subject to renewal, contingent on military needs and political realities.
“The Media-Lobbying Complex”: Investigation Exposes Undisclosed Corporate Ties of Network Political Pundits
The Road to Armageddon
By Paul Craig Roberts
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper's website for the past three days was the "Inside the Beltway" report, "Explosive News," about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.
I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? "A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7," reports the Washington Times.
Continued . . .
February 25, 2010
suicide attack on an IRS building in Austin, Texas by software engineer Joseph Stack, numerous media critics and establishment pundits are blaming influential documentary filmmaker and radio show host, Alex Jones, for the violent act.
An article in The Guardian called Austin, Texas: paranoid politics central by Amanda Marcotte makes the linkage between isolated acts of violence with truth-telling and data-mining that Jones is known for. As a regular listener of Alex's radio show, I can say for certain that the notion that Alex has made statements in favor of violence against government authorities and government property is completely false. Although Marcotte doesn't target Alex as the prime motivator for Stack's decision to commit what is clearly an act of terrorism, she makes the point that his informational operation in Austin is the nucleus that should be held responsible.
But what is Alex Jones doing wrong exactly? Is questioning your government a vice? Why is disbelief in government accounts of reality considered paranoia? Shouldn't we have learned by now, after the brutal oppression of human rights by governments in the last century, that distrust of authority is a healthy thing in society?
Unlike Joseph Stack, Alex Jones is not a political man. He is a vigilant truth-teller, and unfortunately for the rulers of America, a very successful one. To him, breaking political ties, even when it is against the interests of his politics, is more desirable than lying or sacrificing his integrity. When Debra Medina, a candidate for the Governor of Texas, appeared on his radio show at the beginning of her campaign he was enthusiastically supportive of her intentions and encouraged his listeners to assist her run. But after Medina made the remark that 9/11 truth and the individuals who compromise it are despicable on national television, Alex immediately held her feet to the fire for backtracking on her previous statements, a quality that many journalists lack today. A starkly political man would have let it go, being that the statements were campaign rhetoric meant for the less tolerant members of the voting public. But a man who is dedicated to liberating his countrymen from deceitful politicians, criminal interests and powerful delusions is unfriendly to all who turn their back on the truth and those who righteously demand and stand by the truth.
There is indeed much to admire in such a man. And they are few in number. Even fewer are those who combine passionate truth-telling with mighty eloquence, as Alex Jones does. But such men do not live to enjoy their fruits. As Hannah Arendt writes in her essay "Truth and Politics":
Throughout history, the truth-seekers and truthtellers have been aware of the risks of their business; as long as they did not interfere with the course of the world, they were covered with ridicule, but he who forced his fellow-citizens to take him seriously by trying to set them free from falsehood and illusion was in danger of his life: "If they could lay hands on [such a] man . . . they would kill him," Plato says in the last sentence of the cave allegory. 1The fact that Alex is attracting all citizens, instead of just those from the left or right, is another telling sign of what he is about. The call of patriotism reaches beyond republican and democrat, liberal and conservative, and Alex is a citizen who has responded the loudest. Marcotte acknowledges his wide appeal but spins it in order to portray it as a bad thing. She says:
Jones's politics are ostensibly libertarian-conservative, but really, his ideology is paranoia. His empire sucks in rightwingers with conspiracy theories that feed the militia gun culture, but they also love conspiracy theories that appeal more to the left, such as the belief that 9/11 was an "inside job".Marcotte and others are obviously troubled that Alex is objective about the different White House administrations and political candidates, unlike others in the mainstream media who have taken only one side of the field, such as Beck and Limbaugh. Marcotte fails to realize that truth is neither left nor right. That freedom is not republican. And that justice means putting the country above yourself and your party. Then again, how should she know? For she is not a rebel.
And what is a rebel? To Albert Camus, a rebel is a "man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes, from the moment he makes his first gesture of rebellion." 2 And "with rebellion, awareness is born, " Camus writes, specifically, the awareness that all men are born free and have certain rights. And not just any act of rebellion guarantees these rights for a new generation, but a confident act of rebellion, the kind that requires battle out in the open, the kind that Joseph Stack, who cowardly attacked a building out of nowhere, was unfamiliar with. Camus points out:
Rebellion, though apparently negative, since it creates nothing, is profoundly positive in that it reveals the part of man which must always be defended. 3Stack acted from the part of man that must always be denounced, the profane and incompetent part. He targeted innocent people, an act which will cement his reputation as a terrorist more so than his raunchy rhetoric will solidify him as a one-time populist polemicist. His suicide attack was not an act of rebellion, but an act of resentment, and false desperation. If he had burned himself alive in his own home, and left a note for the media and IRS explaining his wrath, he would have gained much more sympathy, but causing destruction and injuring ignorant authorities automatically discredits all his grievances.
As Camus writes, "the man who kills himself in solitude still preserves certain values since he, apparently, claims no rights over the lives of others." 4 In contrast, "the rebel's aim is to defend what he is," Camus says, and since a true rebel is peaceful and honest like Martin Luther King Jr, he must remain peaceful to the very end, or else his whole work will unwrap before the rest of the world as another episode in the violent age of humanity.
Islamic extremists, and all extremist suicide bombers, deserve no respect and should never be given any clout because they have a mentality of conquest, and are still ignorant of their true and non-violent power. Stack made the mistake of letting the IRS get to him, and he copied their values of destruction and robbery with his final act, which revealed a tired individual’s indifference to life and human innocence. Camus, again:
Resentment is always resentment against oneself. The rebel, on the contrary, from his very first step, refuses to allow anyone to touch what he is. He is fighting for the integrity of one part of his being. He does not try, primarily, to conquer, but simply to impose. 5Stack did not impose himself by flying a plane into a building, he exposed himself. He grabbed the attention of the country by performing a weak and desperate act, whereas Alex Jones has continually used peaceful and educational means to wake up individuals from across the globe. Some falsely equate the ability of Alex Jones to impose himself in conversation and on a public street with a pure act of aggression, but it is not, it reflects the warrior's urge to defend the values of his community and all the people in it. And the reason he is able to strongly position himself is because he has chosen to stand behind an invisible shield, the truth, with all his being, which in the present political climate is a very dangerous thing to do because never before has the truth been a bigger threat to the powers that be than today.
In her essay, Arendt describes the indestructible nature of truth, and its much feared ability to stand above the crowd. She writes:
Seen from the viewpoint of politics, truth has a despotic character. It is therefore hated by tyrants, who rightly fear the competition of a coercive force they cannot monopolize, and it enjoys a rather precarious status in the eyes of governments that rest on consent and abhor coercion. Facts are beyond argument and consent, and all talk about them--all exchanges of opinion based on correct information--will contribute nothing to their establishment. Unwelcome opinion can be argued with, rejected, or compromised upon, but unwelcome facts possess an infuriating stubbornness that nothing can move except plain lies. 6Almost a year ago I wrote, "I'm sure as Alex Jones' popularity and influence grows a bucket full of lies will be thrown at Americans about his intentions, affiliations and message by the government and corporate media." It appears that is happening with increasing frequency, except a bucket full of lies may become a bucket full of spikes. The fact that there is a rebel on the radio whose influence grows every day does not sit well with the rulers of America and the cowardly bunch who stick up for them. But nothing they throw at Alex Jones will ever stick. They can even throw sticks. And bones. And bullets. And bones infused with bullets. And still, they will cause no damage, because Alex Jones is a testament to resistance and courage. He has demonstrated that rebellion is a daily act, not a final violent deed, and surely he packs more explosive energy into one radio broadcast than anything a plane could muster.
Once America's totalitarian government is peacefully and financially reduced to a fraction of its size, and our nightmare is over, we'll have a lot of people to be thankful for, and Alex Jones is certainly at the top of the list. "No permanence, no perseverance in existence," said Arendt, "can even be conceived of without men willing to testify to what is and appears to them because it is." 7
1. Arendt, Hannah. The Portable Hannah Arendt. Pg. 547
2. Camus, Albert. The Rebel. Pg. 13
3. Ibid. Pg. 19
4. Ibid. Pg. 7
5. Ibid. Pg 18
6. Arendt, Hannah. The Portable Hannah Arendt. Pg. 556
7. Ibid. Pg. 547
The Huffington Post:
The IMF Destroys Iceland and Latvia
By Nathan Lewis
The International Monetary Fund operates primarily as a banker bailout machine. They cajole and tempt and confuse and threaten the leaders of governments worldwide to pay off the failed bets of the big bankers using the taxpayer funds of their countries. This has been going on a long time, at least since the early 1980s.
Thus, I am not in the teeniest bit surprised that the same thing is happening today in Iceland and Latvia.Continued . . .
February 24, 2010
Feburary 24, 2010
Our knee-jerk, tunnel-visioned, democratic and republican voters must develop some peripheral vision, or they will be taught some lessons of life that could more more easily be learned by viewing outside of the central areas of corporate media focus. And perhaps, the best place to begin seeing on the edges of one’s usual visual field is the corporate media itself.
Let us begin by asking ourselves, “Who owns the corporate-mainstream media?”
And of course, the answer is large, very large, corporations own the corporate media.
But, who owns the controlling stock of these large corporations, and controls their “news” and aired content?
The answer is the foreign, privately owned International Monetary/Banking Cartel, that controls the money and credit of the world. Make sense?
Now, if one will study the long and infamous track record of this private Cartel, and correlate its activities with the corresponding “news” of the day, one will soon see the reciprocal relationship between that news and the subsequent national and international events.
You see, the corporate media does not so much reports on news events, as it prepares the stage to justify the various covert actions then taken by the Cartel.
So now, let us learn a bit more about this monolith called the International Monetary/Banking Cartel, and how they came to control their corporate media and their fascistic/socialist police states down through much of recorded history.
Did Jesus give us a blanket condemnation of financial oligarchs, monopoly capitalists, and money-changers?
Creating a whip from some cords, Jesus – in his only recorded incidence of violence – drove the money-changers out of the Temple of Jerusalem; it was a moment of spiritual enlightenment, described in all four gospels.
The Temple of Jerusalem was used for animal sacrifices, and a collection plate, where Jewish people were encouraged to bring in their “sin offerings.” Even then, like today, organized spirituality was perverted and debased with extortion, money, blood, and slaughter.
Do you see a resemblance between the money-changers of Biblical times and those of today?
Are today’s monopoly oligarchs of the same blood-thirsty tribe of thieves as were the money-changers Jesus whipped out of the Temple?
Did Jesus tell us to shine the light of truth and justice on all secret priesthoods and hierarchies?
Our once great nation struggled as a mere thirteen colonies under the British coin of the realm, that is until they issued their own currency, they called Colonial Script. This helped the Colonies to enjoy an envious prosperity, until the European Banking Cartel, under the direction of the Rothschild clan, demanded that England’s King George III outlaw the Colonies from printing their own money, and go back to the currency of the Bank of England, which was owned by the International Banking Cartel.
Continued . . .
February 23, 2010
Understanding the Nature of the Global Economic Crisis
The people have been lulled into a false sense of safety under the ruse of a perceived “economic recovery.” Unfortunately, what the majority of people think does not make it so, especially when the people making the key decisions think and act to the contrary. The sovereign debt crises that have been unfolding in the past couple years and more recently in Greece, are canaries in the coal mine for the rest of Western “civilization.” The crisis threatens to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland; like dominoes, one country after another will collapse into a debt and currency crisis, all the way to America.
In October 2008, the mainstream media and politicians of the Western world were warning of an impending depression if actions were not taken to quickly prevent this. The problem was that this crisis had been a long-time coming, and what’s worse, is that the actions governments took did not address any of the core, systemic issues and problems with the global economy; they merely set out to save the banking industry from collapse. To do this, governments around the world implemented massive “stimulus” and “bailout” packages, plunging their countries deeper into debt to save the banks from themselves, while charging it to people of the world.
Then an uproar of stock market speculation followed, as money was pumped into the stocks, but not the real economy. This recovery has been nothing but a complete and utter illusion, and within the next two years, the illusion will likely come to a complete collapse.
The governments gave the banks a blank check, charged it to the public, and now it’s time to pay; through drastic tax increases, social spending cuts, privatization of state industries and services, dismantling of any protective tariffs and trade regulations, and raising interest rates. The effect that this will have is to rapidly accelerate, both in the speed and volume, the unemployment rate, globally. The stock market would crash to record lows, where governments would be forced to freeze them altogether.
When the crisis is over, the middle classes of the western world will have been liquidated of their economic, political and social status. The global economy will have gone through the greatest consolidation of industry and banking in world history leading to a system in which only a few corporations and banks control the global economy and its resources; governments will have lost that right. The people of the western world will be treated by the financial oligarchs as they have treated the ‘global South’ and in particular, Africa; they will remove our social structures and foundations so that we become entirely subservient to their dominance over the economic and political structures of our society.
This is where we stand today, and is the road on which we travel.
The western world has been plundered into poverty, a process long underway, but with the unfolding of the crisis, will be rapidly accelerated. As our societies collapse in on themselves, the governments will protect the banks and multinationals. When the people go out into the streets, as they invariably do and will, the government will not come to their aid, but will come with police and military forces to crush the protests and oppress the people. The social foundations will collapse with the economy, and the state will clamp down to prevent the people from constructing a new one.
The road to recovery is far from here. When the crisis has come to an end, the world we know will have changed dramatically. No one ever grows up in the world they were born into; everything is always changing. Now is no exception. The only difference is, that we are about to go through the most rapid changes the world has seen thus far.
A report by the Office of Professional Responsibility has deemed John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the authors of the Torture Memos, guilty of "poor judgment." That's right. The two Bush administration lawyers are being treated like a couple of children by the Justice Department. Their only punishment, according to Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, is having to sit in the corner, and reflect on what they've done. And what exactly did they do? Through their legal guidance and supervision, Yoo and Bybee granted the President the almighty authority to do whatever he wanted to whomever he wanted. Like all good lawyers, they helped cover their client's ass. Except this time it was Uncle Sam's ass, so it took a whole lot of covering.
The Torture Memos gave the President of the United States the opportunity to act like Hitler and get away with it. Doug Robertson of AlterNet summed it up pretty well:
The memo accorded Bush the okey-doke to order torture (felony), declare war on a whim anytime, anywhere, on anyone for any reason (banned), to conduct unauthorized wiretaps of U.S. citizens (Fourth Amendment violation, I don’t care how you spin it). Also under this umbrella of exemptions, permission granted to randomly abduct whomever for whyever, bringing them to secret places to be dealt with secretly.
In Margolis's opinion, Yoo was a crackpot ideologue who sincerely believed that the country's national security rested solely on the President's shoulders, and his authority to massacre women and children in foreign regions. So he shouldn't be punished because he didn't know any better. It is basically the insane defense. Yoo and Bybee shouldn't be prosecuted and sent to jail for their actions because they are too crazy to know what is the correct legal guidance when it comes to State decisions. But if they're truly crazy and are incapable of surrendering themselves to their moral conscience then how will they change their behavior if they reflect in a corner like a little bully? Simply disgracing them will have zero effect because men who are criminally insane don't care about what other people think about them. They're in their own little world.Margolis' defense is reminiscent of the mobster Carmine Falcone in the film Batman Begins being let off the hook by the Scarecrow, who also uses the insane argument. It is a poor excuse, and one that we will not soon forget, because unlike a movie, reality sticks around for a little longer than criminals and their hangers-on like to hope. The closing credits on the Bush administration have not yet appeared. As David Swanson writes below, the real judgment on Yoo and Bybee's criminal authorizations is still to come.
Everything you're reading about torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting off the hook is wrong. They are not torture lawyers, they are not off the hook, there never was any hook, they may not be lawyers for long, impeachment and indictment are on the agenda, and you have a role to play.
Calling these men "torture lawyers" is dramatically dumber than labeling Al Capone a tax cheat. These are people who provided "legal" cover for aggressive wars, who put down in documents treated as secret "laws" that any president can launch any aggressive war at his whim, without regard to domestic or international law, Congress, the Supreme Court, you, me, or morality. The very report that is the subject of the latest "news" flurry quotes Yoo declaring that, "Sure!", a president can order a village massacred. Yoo's previous declaration that a president can crush a child's testicles is so much more shocking, I realize, but the villagers' testicles WOULD die with the rest of them upon being massacred. Over a million Iraqis lie dead. So stop obsessing on the torture for godsake and try to focus on the fact that these people are conspirators in the supreme crime of war. Read the memos of September 25, 2001, and October 23, 2002, if this is all new to you.
How many villages could a president "legally" massacre? You're missing the point. John Yoo's president cannot be limited in any way when it's war time, and it's always war time. And can other nations' presidents potentially "legally" massacre our villages? Again, you're missing the point. The ONLY way to prevent them from doing so is to massacre enough of their villages first. And the only way to do that is to empower presidents. Thus think these psychopaths, and so will our children think like this if we do not put a stop to it now.
Yoo and Bybee are openly guilty of conspiracy to engage in aggressive war, banned by the U.N. Charter and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, and of conspiracy to torture, a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 2340A-c and § 2441, and to spy without warrants, banned by the Fourth Amendment. Their memos are public. The fact that everyone waited for years to do anything about it, until they could see the Justice Department's own report on the matter doesn't change the absolute irrelevance of such nonsense. Yoo's and Bybee's actions, no matter what you make of them, consist entirely in authorship of a series of written documents available for all to read. And those documents constitute overwhelming grounds for impeachment and indictment.
February 22, 2010
The Big Bank TheoryHow government helps financial giants get richer
Wall Street bankers, along with the rest of the players in the financial industry, like to think of themselves as swashbuckling capitalists. They battle cutthroat competition with one hand and oppressive government bureaucracy with the other. In reality, the financial industry is deeply dependent on the government. Far from the rugged, go-it-alone types they wish they were, they are more like well-dressed, coddled adolescents. And this is true in good times and bad.
The industry’s dependency takes five main forms:
• an explicit safety net provided by government deposit insurance;
• an implicit safety net provided by “too big to fail”;
• a special privilege of being the only untaxed casino;
• an open invitation to raid state and local governments for fees;
• a right to change contract terms after the fact.
These dependencies are entrenched, and, despite loud protests to the contrary, the removal of government from the financial sector is not really on the agenda. The issue up for debate is not the virtues of the free market versus government regulation. The industry wants government regulation, just not in a way that curtails its profits.
In thinking about regulation, then, we need a fuller appreciation of the industry’s dependency on government. This will not tell us what to do, but it should open the door to a debate about regulatory reform that takes up the real question: will regulation be structured in a way that advances the public interest or in a way that allows the financial sector to profit at society's expense?
Keen - Debunking Economics: the naked emperor of the social sciences
Dr. Keen on Engineer.net Part I
February 20, 2010
February 19, 2010
Images, ideas and concepts from The Matrix are now part of our everyday language and have influenced how we view the world. Neo is a slave in the beginning of the film, just as we are slaves, because we're not yet masters of our own fate. The majority of us don't want war, but there is still war, in fact, another big one is on the way soon. We all know that our democratic governments in America, England, and Canada are unaccountable to the people's voice and are staffed with career politicians who put their own salaries above their country. We are all aware of the fact that money doesn't just control politics, it is politics. And it's even worse than we can imagine. In America, the rule of law is not applied to the powerful and well-connected, but to the defenseless and weak, and this is true at home and abroad. Here are just two examples among many.
On November 25th, 2006, in a New York street, an unarmed man named Sean Bell was shot fifty times on the night of his wedding by police officers for no good reason, but to this day there still hasn't been any charges pressed against the offenders involved. And then on September 16, 2007, Blackwater guards killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in point blank fashion in Nisour Square, Baghdad. Charges against Blackwater have all been dropped, and the company's CEO, Erik Prince, has refused to publicly apologize to Mohammed Kinani, the father of the youngest victim of the bloodbath.
Indeed, it is a mad world, so we shouldn't be too quick to judge when a man like Joesph Stack flies off the radar and drives a plane into a government building. No doubt his deadly act is unforgivable, but let's not pretend that he was just crazy and stupid. Of course, flying planes into government buildings is not a solution to tyranny. It is a sign of mental breakdown. What is achieved by destroying lives and property? Absolutely nothing. Destruction is not the answer. But the man's angry sentiments are understandable. The current system of government in America is an insult to every thinking and moral individual. No one who is informed about the facts can defend the Federal Reserve System, or the IRS. But also, no one can rightly defend Stack's behavior, not now, and not in the future when the US government will be viewed even less favorably by the American public. He has cemented his reputation along with the IRS, and it is not good.
Peaceful and truthful action, in the tradition of Ghandi and King, will restore the American republic and bring sanity to this broken world, not acts of violence. General strikes, tax boycotts, marches, protests, and other forms of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience will help us achieve freedom, justice and peace for the people of America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and the whole world.
Popular Indiana Democratic U.S. Senator Evan Bayh announced that he was quitting the Senate. Yahoo News gave this account:
"In an interview on MSNBC this morning, newly retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared the American political system "dysfunctional," riddled with "brain-dead partisanship" and permanent campaigning. Flatly denying any possibility that he'd seek the presidency or any other higher office, Bayh argued that the American people needed to deliver a "shock" to Congress by voting incumbents out in mass and replacing them with people interested in reforming the process and governing for the good of the people, rather than deep-pocketed special-interest groups."In short, Senator Bayh got tired of being a whore for the corporate lobbyists who rule the U.S. As Shamus Cooke noted the same day, in the last election voters gave the Democrats a super majority in the mistaken belief that Democrats would remove U.S. policy from the corporate/neocon grip only to find that the result was a surge in America's wars of aggression.
There are grounds for hope in the fact that some of the Tea Party people understand that Americans have been betrayed and abandoned by both parties.
Continued . . .
Scahill - The Naiton:
Every detail of September 16, 2007, is burned in Mohammed Kinani's memory. Shortly after 9 am he was preparing to leave his house for work at his family's auto parts business in Baghdad when he got a call from his sister, Jenan, who asked him to pick her and her children up across town and bring them back to his home for a visit. The Kinanis are a tightknit Shiite family, and Mohammed often served as a chauffeur through Baghdad's dangerous streets to make such family gatherings possible.
Mohammed had just pulled away from his family's home in the Khadamiya neighborhood in his SUV. His youngest son, 9-year-old Ali, came tearing down the road after him, asking his father if he could accompany him. Mohammed told him to run along and play with his brothers and sister. But Ali, an energetic and determined kid, insisted. Mohammed gave in, and off the father and son went.
As Mohammed and Ali drove through Baghdad that hot and sunny Sunday, they passed a newly rebuilt park downtown. Ali gazed at the park and then turned to his father and asked, "Daddy, when are you gonna bring us here?"
"Next week," Mohammed replied. "If God wills it, son."
Ali would never visit that park. Within a few hours, he would be dead from a gunshot wound to the head. While you may have never heard his name, you probably know something about how Ali Mohammed Hafedh Kinani died. He was the youngest person killed by Blackwater forces in the infamous Nisour Square massacre.
In May 2008 Mohammed flew to Washington to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the shooting. It was his first time out of Iraq. The US Attorney, Jeffrey Taylor, praised Mohammed for his "commendable courage." A year after the shooting, in December 2008, five Blackwater guards were indicted on manslaughter charges, while a sixth guard pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed Iraqi. American justice, it seemed to Mohammed, was working. "I'm a true believer in the justness and fairness of American law," Mohammed said.
But this past New Year's Eve, federal Judge Ricardo Urbina threw out all the criminal charges against the five Blackwater guards. At least seventeen Iraqis died that day, and prosecutors believed they could prove fourteen of the killings were unjustified. The manslaughter charges were dismissed not because of a lack of evidence but because of what Urbina called serious misconduct on the part of the prosecutors.
Then, a few days after the dismissal of the criminal case, Blackwater reached a civil settlement with many of the Nisour Square victims, reportedly paying about $100,000 per death.
Blackwater released a statement declaring it was "pleased" with the outcome, which enabled the company to move forward "free of the costs and distraction of ongoing litigation." But Mohammed Kinani would not move on. He refused to take the deal Blackwater offered. As a result, he may well be the one man standing between Blackwater and total impunity for the killings in Nisour Square.
On September 15, 2009, the night before the second anniversary of his son's death, Mohammed Kinani sued Blackwater in its home state of North Carolina, along with company owner Erik Prince and the six men Mohammed believes are responsible for his son's death. In an exclusive interview providing the most detailed eyewitness account of the massacre that has yet been published, Mohammed told his story to The Nation.
February 18, 2010
O'Reilly actually brings up some good points about the role and influence of authority in society. But the real threat to law and order and the American people does not come from disobedience by active and former military officers and policemen, but from obedience to immoral and dictatorial orders. The events of Nazi Germany showed that every man in uniform needs to trust his own inner judgment and follow his moral conscience rather than carry out orders simply because they are orders.
Dog Poet Transmitting…….
I haven’t seen or heard or read any news in 3 weeks; no idea what’s going on out there. There’s no internet here because Telecom is browbeating all applicants for internet service into signing up with them and not responding to calls for service from providers. This is a new trick that’s come around lately and should be a warning to all not to switch your provider unless you have to. It might have been foolish of us to attempt to do this just to get a faster speed and a more comprehensive package but you live and learn or you don’t.
I’ve turned my hand to other things that the blog and radio efforts had pushed to the sidelines and am glad for it. In the meantime, the mind speculates about the world beyond the doorstep and it probes at all the information that has passed through it over recent years. What I was and what I knew five years ago are no longer what they were. Some things are far clearer today than they were in former times.
Without the daily input of information, this mind has been sifting and probing and consolidating from the warp and woof of what had come to its attention previously and certain things stand out above all else in the process. What is irrefutably clear to me at this moment is that the governments of the
Here are some of the things I have learned and here are some of the things I can see in front of me…
"Just 21% Of Voters Nationwide Believe That The Federal Government Enjoys The Consent Of The Governed"
A new Rasmussen poll finds:
The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, however, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November...
In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.”
Sixty percent (60%) of voters think that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. Thirty-five percent (35%) say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people.
Nearly half of all voters believe that people randomly selected from the phone book could do as good a job as the current Congress.
It is not surprising - given the following - that this is largely viewed as a class issue:
- The poor have disproportionally suffered from unemployment
- PhD economist Dean Baker said that the true purpose of the bank rescues is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives"
- Two leading IMF officials, the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, and the the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City have all said that the United States is controlled by an oligarchy
- Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and many others have called our current system "socialism for the rich"
- PhD economist Michael Hudson says that the financial “parasites” are "sucking as much money out" as they can before "jumping ship"
- Warren Buffet said a couple of years ago: "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.”
As Rasmussen notes:
Those who earn more than $100,000 a year are more narrowly divided on the question, but those with lower incomes overwhelming reject the notion that today’s government has the consent from which to derive its just authority. Those with the lowest incomes are the most skeptical.
AlterNet - Robert Sherrill:
America's 100 Years of Overthrow
The US is addicted to overthrowing foreign governments -- 14 in the past century -- from Cuba to Chile to Iran.
Stephen Kinzer, who spent years on various front lines for The New York Times, calls these regime changes "catastrophic victories," but of course some were more catastrophic than others.
Most of these coups were triggered by foreign combatants and then taken over and finished by us. But four of them, in many ways the worst of the lot, were all our own, from conspiracy to conclusion. "American agents engaged in complex, well-financed campaigns to bring down the governments of Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, and Chile. None would have fallen -- certainly not in the same way or at the same time -- if Washington had not acted as it did.
"Each of these four coups was launched against a government that was reasonably democratic (with the arguable exception of South Vietnam). ... They led to the fall of leaders who embraced American ideals, and the imposition of others who detested everything Americans hold dear. They were not rogue operations. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, national security advisers, and CIA directors approved them. ... The first thing all four of these coups have in common is that American leaders promoted them consciously, willfully, deliberately, and in strict accordance with the laws."
For all 14 regime changes, Kinzer assigns blame to the smug American belief that we are the most righteous people in the world and that we are obliged to force our version of righteousness on nations we judge to be backward -- especially if they have a bountiful supply of minerals that our corporations want (i.e., oil in Iran, copper in Chile). In short, our military conquests have been launched under the glorious banner of Bible-thumping Christian capitalists.
Yes, of course, you immediately think of George Bush, but he is just the last of a long line.
Continued . . .
William A. Cohn - A corporation speaks by clear-cutting old-growth forests, by dumping pollutants in our communities and denying care for our elders, by off-shoring to avoid paying taxes, and by outsourcing and eliminating jobs. This inanimate Frankenstein constructed by law now enjoys vast legal and constitutional rights which it wields against humans, animals and nature.
February 17, 2010
There is a growing global debt crisis, a deepening economic depression, a new world war, rising unemployment, a planet in jeopardy, and a full-fledged technocratic police state, combined with a heavy military presence, to subdue the American people and oppress anybody who chooses to resist the disorder of things.
And everybody is bracing for impact, from the conspiratorial financial elite to the unthinking and fearful masses, but only one side has the clear momentum heading into this new apocalypse, and they're not cheering for the Saints or raving about Avatar.
These global crises, unnatural for the most part, are presenting great new opportunities for a few inter-connected sociopaths and oligarchs on top of the global heap to finalize a secret global plan long in the making, which at its core involves reestablishing the world's governing system based on a technological-totalitarian centralized model, and would be controlled and manipulated by private banking establishments in tandem with large State bureaucracies. The plan has been referred to by presidents, professors, and bankers as a New World Order, but a more apt description for the current and future disorder of things is a State of Emergency, because when there is no justice and legality, all order is suspect, and where there is no respectable peace, there can be no world or order to impose upon it. What is left is anarchy. And through proper research of recent history, one comes to the troubling conclusion that global anarchy has been the aim of the criminal financial elite all along.
Washington's Blog has documented the fact that the United States is operating under a state of national emergency, which means, in plain terms, the people have no rights. Last fall, President Barack Obama renewed the emergency decree that Bush declared back in September 14, 2001, following the staged 9/11 attacks, but it has been pointed out by Travis of Sanity is Dead blog that the state of emergency was effective on March 9, 1933, in the middle of the last great depression.
Regardless of when the official directive was actually enacted, the point is that it is effective today, so all talk of "voting" and "elections" is null because the American government, as far as We the People are concerned, is beyond dysfunctional; it is not even a government, but a political machine that is engaging war on the American people and the people of the world.
It is highly unlikely that the Feds will assist ordinary Americans in any upcoming catastrophes, whether they are political, natural, or economic in origin. Not only should Americans not expect any help, they should prepare for the worst treatment, because the heartless rulers of America have shown no regards whatsoever to the people of the United States or the rest of the world.
The reasons for governing under a national emergency are obvious. For one, the law of the land is suspended, which allows the executive to go around the Congress and act as authoritatively as it wishes, and secondly, the military's role within the country is enhanced to the point where the federal government can invade its own territories and essentially declare war on any region in open rebellion. Washington's Blog has commented on the secret nature of the decision making process in a state of emergency, which is most beneficial for criminal financial activities:
I don't know whether the official declaration of a "state of emergency" in effect from September 2001 to today was directly used for financial looting. But again, the fear of an existential threat to our country was used to justify the looting.A majority of so-called "rational" analysts in the media and academia have regarded the fears of a global dictatorship and emergency rule by a criminal elite as paranoia and a feature of conspiracy thinking, but much to their disapproval, such thinking has gained tremendous influence in the public as of late and is becoming unstoppable. It is one of the positive developments of our age that the whole world is getting a reality check, however, it seems America is a little farther behind due to the corporate propaganda machine that is still able to guide political discourse in the country. But such lethal suppression will only make the American people angrier and put them in a stronger position to return their nation towards the path of liberty.
What kind of sane commentary do establishment journalists and media pundits provide? Much of them have went along with the blown-up myth that a majority of organized Muslims, in reaction to American imperialism and Israeli aggression, have declared an all-out war on the West, but major polls in Iran, Pakistan, and even in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan show that the people of the Middle East prefer peace over war.
And for years official media commentators were allergic to reporting on the subprime mortgage crisis, and when it finally became certain in 2008, they failed to recognize the depth of the crisis, which had its roots in larger financial trends, much of them originating from the dubious activities in large Wall Street banks and the Federal Reserve. And the mainline economic professors were right there beside them, dismissing any evidence that the growth of US and global markets were produced by cheap money and slavery wages. So who is really rational and sane?
Present conditions offer humanity a historical opportunity that can be seized for the good, or, because of deception and ignorance, it can be captured by the same criminal global cabal who have shown no interest in creating a just and peaceful world. But the state of emergency goes beyond America, and much deeper than politics. For one thing, it is not new, and is not necessarily bad. Most would agree that conditions on the planet changed for the bad beginning in 1914, when nations were financed and supplied to fight to the death by a core group of international banksters who then profited immensely from the vast human suffering on both sides of the false conflict. It was at that point when the global war syndrome took hold of our secret rulers and has never subsided since.
With the rise of technological warfare and the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, which can finance illegal activities and unpopular wars as a private central banking system, the age of modern warfare came to be. Sadly, it has not been an age of war heroes and victorious generals, but of traitorous politicians and universal soldiers who had no other reason to fight and die then to protect their honor and the other men beside them in the line of duty.
But war is only one technique that is used by the criminal oligarchy at the heart of Western politics to enrich themselves and strengthen themselves and their purchased States. The other is economic warfare. David DeGraw of Amped Status has written a new series called The Economic Elite vs. The People of the United States of America, in which he has documented the level of economic heist organized by Wall St. and endorsed by the global oligarchy, and the state of suffering caused by unjust government policies that have spanned generations and across party lines. Of course, this way of doing business is not special to the United States, oligarchies in other nations have distanced themselves from the rest of their countrymen and have used every economic or political crisis to subject the people to their will.
A chief tenet of the new world order is to maintain a class of global oligarchs that have no sentimental allegiance to their particular country, and only pay attention to "global governance" and a planetary structure that overlooks the different regional bureaucracies. The philosopher Martin Buber saw the early signs of this global development. "The coming elite of mankind," wrote Buber in his book Pointing the Way, "which will then also produce biologically the new master race, is founded on the common absence of restraint," (1). Buber also highlighted the true allegiance of Hitler and his willingness to submit the German spirit to a European ruling elite:
Hitler, in whose public utterances the nation is one and all, is, in fact, concerned with a planet-encompassing alliance of the possessors of power to support one another in the preservation of power over the human weal, for the sake of the selection of a new ruling class, which, as he once said, has the right to rule on the ground of its superior race. (2)Clearly, the idea of a new world order did not arise into our current monstrous rulers' consciousness out of nowhere. For at least a century they have diligently worked to create excuses for a global governing structure, whose ultimate direction is one world rule, and is not based on democratic principles but totalitarian ones. The principal economic model throughout this transitory time has been fascism, and it is the brainchild of criminal monopolists and iron-men like Mussolini who sought that the elite combine the power of the corporation and the state to their own benefit.
Fascism, which can be identifiable today as corporate-state dominance of society in the interests of a criminal global elite, gains hold in nations mainly through a financial or political emergency.
Walter Benjamin, the German philosopher and literary critic, professed that the oppressed people worldwide should activate a real sense of political crisis, and use it as a turning point in the war against their immoral masters. In section eight of his Theses on the Philosophy of History, which appears in his book Illuminations, Benjamin writes:
The tradition of the oppressed classes teaches us that the "state of emergency" in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. (3)According to Benjamin, the transformation of consciousness can not happen without us first realizing that we are in a historical crisis, “a state of emergency,” and that it is beneficial to our standing if we embrace it as our own, and try our best to fix it rather than hang our heads, and wait for a world political global body, or even worse, a religious Messiah, to save us from full collapse.
By dodging the opportunity that the current crisis offers for a free and just humanity, we are dodging history itself. Many people are presently very fearful of the real potential that lives in Man, and his ability to remake his political reality so that he is able to fulfill his inner destiny, but there are historical examples that proves such fear is not always powerful in the minds of the people. In the last century individuals from different societies successfully changed the direction of their governments by participating in non-violent actions such as general strikes, tax rebellions, major protests, and endless marches. So bringing about "a real state of emergency" in society as Benjamin suggested is not as difficult as we imagine because it has been done before, in 1789, and 1848, but this time it needs to be done on a global level and led by individuals who are peaceful in nature and whose ties reach across boundaries and political ideologies.
Instilling a sense of urgency is only meant to set the stage for better things to come. The most important element in achieving a free, just and peaceful world remains a personal duty within our individual selves. Changing the power dynamics of politics is impossible, but changing how we think about ourselves, political leaders, and the nature of government is not. That we should choose to have no central political authority at all is my hope, but it’s not good to be dogmatic about these things. Instead, it’s best to let history play out as it is dictated by a free and educated citizenry in every nation throughout the world.
Michael Badnarik as well as others have proposed that it's time to refresh the tree of liberty but what will revolutionary warfare solve in the long run? We must go beyond violence, and emphasis social education and personal transformation, which have proven to be more capable of producing long-lasting change in human society. To go back to Buber:
Man must change himself in the same measure as the institutions are changed in order that these changes may have their expected effect. If the new house that man hopes to erect is not to become his burial chamber, the essence of living together must undergo a change at the same time as the organization of living. (4)Real rebellion and change begins with the self, and then extends to civil institutions and laws, so why do we stand by every four years and watch a political sham take place in spite of us? The same unelected few benefit at the people's expense every time, and if a new revolution causes a break in that tradition, it will only be for a little while, because in another fifty years the same instinct to rule society through political means will appear yet again. The solution is to end the central state in all countries, and keep politics at bay. "Politics," said libertarian theorist Karl Hess, "has always been the institutionalized and established way in which some men have exercised the power to live off the output of other men. But even in a world made docile to these demands, men do not need to live by devouring other men."
The State in our time is the equivalent to the all-powerful ring in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and must be dispensed with in the fires of history. And for that to be possible we must embody the Frodian spirit and support humanity's quest of totally destroying the role of the State in human affairs. No doubt the State has the ability to do some good some of the time, but given its tendency towards destruction and defiance of the people's will, isn't it too great a gamble to keep the ring, as the black king of Gondor would like us to?
Never before in human history has the decision to abandon Statist politics been more clear, and the opportunity to do so is literally at our fingertips. The one ring designed to rule them all, engraved with the markings of the New World Order, is in our hands and we can end the idea of the world state by voicing our opposition to the authorities regardless of the world's circumstance or our own. We will fail if we, as global citizens, agree to a world state in order to end the various global crises, even if we make it democratic, because the power of centralized authority would still be established and operating in the world, which is unbelievably dangerous, no matter if it is for the good. A world state would consume societal energies and redirect humanity's spontaneous will to create and maintain order towards a system that is hell-bent against all free will. As the political theorist Hannah Arendt asked in her essay What is Freedom?
Is it not true, as we all somehow believe, that politics is compatible with freedom only because and insofar as it guarantees a possible freedom from politics? (5)The irony, which Arendt touches on, is that all our current global crises, from the economic heist by the criminal elite, to the unending and unnecessary wars, stem from the fact that there has been too little genuine politics. Arendt:
Freedom, moreover, is not only one among the many problems and phenomena of the political realm properly speaking, such as justice, or power, or equality; freedom, which only seldom--in times of crisis or revolution--becomes the direct aim of political action, is actually the reason that men live together in political organization at all. Without it, political life as such would be meaningless. The raison d'etre of politics is freedom, and its field of experience is action. (6)The only person in American politics who has stood out as a real leader with a strong and politically independent base is congressman Ron Paul, who is aware of the important fact that we must commit to politics only until we reach our goal of freedom. And no doubt the world will continue to be in a state of emergency until freedom is won for everyone.
1. Buber, Martin. Pointing the Way. Pg. 155
2. Buber, Martin. Pointing the Way. Pg. 159
3. Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Pg. 259
4. Buber, Martin. Pointing the Way. Pg. 179
5. Arendt, Hannah. The Portable Hannah Arendt. Pg. 443.
6. Arendt, Hannah. The Portable Hannah Arendt. Pg. 440.